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January 25, 2010

Siemens preferred bidder for DB intercity fleet

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GERMAN RAIL (DB) has revealed Siemens is the preferred bidder to provide its next-generation ICx fleet of intercity trains. DB CEO Mr Rüdige Grube confirmed exclusive negotiations will now begin with the aim of signing a framework contract for up to 300 trains in June. Grube has previously said that if all options are exercised, the deal could be worth up to Euros 6 billion.
The ICx programme was launched several years ago with the aim of replacing DB's remaining long-distance locomotive-hauled trains, and an order for between 100 and 130 trains was originally envisaged. However, the programme has since been expanded to cover the longer-term replacement of the 59 ICE 1 trains supplied between 1989 and 1993, and 46 ICE2 sets delivered between 1995 and 1997.

Three configurations have been proposed: short train with 500-550 seats, a medium-length train (630-700 seats) and a long train with 730-810 seats. The first 230-250km/h trains are expected to be delivered in the middle of the decade and will replace locomotive-hauled trains on domestic and international services. These will be followed by a variant capable of at least 280km/h, which will succeed the ICE1 and ICE2 in 2020 and 2025 respectively.

The tender for the new trains was launched in mid-2008 and the 300-page document lists 8900 separate technical requirements to be met by the supplier. Furthermore, the entire development cost of the ICx will be met by the industry.

DB has not confirmed whether the new train will be configured as an emu or as a locomotive and coaches, similar to the Railjet currently being supplied by Siemens to Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).

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